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Five Ways to Turn Your Stammering into Your Biggest Strength

Five Ways to Turn Your Stammering into Your Biggest Strength
One of the reasons most people shy away from public speaking is the fear of stammering or stuttering. A person who stammers or stutters has difficulties in speaking. There is often the repetition of a particular sound involuntarily during speech. This leads to delayed speech, or inability to flow or pronounce certain words. Because people naturally expect spoken language to flow easily, they see stammering as a speech defect, and are usually tempted to mock or get irritated by people who stammer. This act of embarrassment and non-acceptance kills the confidence of stammerers. But there is some good news if you have this challenge. It is a savable situation! There are sterling speakers who are chronic stammerers yet they are doing so well. Do you know that the best interpreter I have come across is a stammerer? Are you asking how? Stammering is not a defect; it is a blessing in disguise; you can have control over it. It can be managed! 

In this article, we shall look at five ways to turn your stammering into your biggest strength. We shall also look at ways you can support people who stammer. 

1. Self-acceptance: No matter what your abilities or inabilities are, you need to accept who you are and work towards becoming the better version of yourself. Self condemnation leads to inferiority complex. Inferiority complex is a twin of low self-esteem and this is one of the negative triggers of stammering. Self acceptance gives you confidence, and confidence is a resistant to people's mockery, bullying, and non-acceptance. When you look down on yourself wherever you find yourself, you are easily intimidated and more likely to stammer when you are required to speak. However, if you see value in yourself, you are able to take control of how you speak. It doesn't mean you won't stammer when you speak, but it means you will be unashamed even when you stammer. When you have this positive outlook of yourself, stammering would never be a barrier to your quest to speak in public.

2. Breath control: The cause of stammering is unconscious; you don't do it on purpose. It may not be entirely curable, but it can be manageable. One of the surest ways of managing stammering is learning to take time to breath in and out in the course of speaking. "Taking smaller breaths with your diaphragm can help you relax and may help you speak more fluently." Stress, anger, and fatigue are triggers of stammering. Whenever you find yourself in any of these situations as a stammerer, you need to slow down when talking. Speaking at a fast rate will only worsen the case. Learn to time yourself. Speak at regulated intervals. You can choose to pause (take some breath) after every three words you mention. It works well as you practice. 

3. Avoid Triggers: The anticipation to stammer is most likely to make you stammer. You must therefore psyche your mind that you are in control. Avoid triggers (activities that are likely to make you stammer). For example, unnecessary arguments, loquaciousness (talking too much), anger, over excitement, self condemnation, verbosity, show offs, stress and fatigue, unpreparedness to speak, etc. If you are able to avoid these triggers, you would definitely reduce the chances of you stammering in public. 

4. Accept the opportunities to speak in public: There is the tendency to use stammering as a reason to shy away from speaking in public. Whereas it is quite understandable, it is not an excuse enough to miss out on the immense benefits of being able to speak in public. Ask yourself, how long am I going to run away from public speaking? I dare you to challenge yourself today. Motivate yourself, psyche your mind, work on your breath control and timing, avoid triggers, prepare for whatever you are expected to speak on, and mount that stage with confidence. Once you break that ice, I tell you, there is no stopping you! You may experience embarrassing moments from the beginning, but you will get better; I promise you. Practice makes perfect.

5. Be kind on yourself: It is natural to get upset and devastated if one public speaking experience (especially the first) goes terribly bad for you. That in spite of your preparation and application of all the tips given here you stammer as never before -- Be kind on yourself! One bad day does not define you or your capabilities; it only shows that you are trying. The embarrassment you feel today is not pretty or fun; but it is not enough reason to quit public speaking for the rest of your life. If you know your aspirations in life, you wouldn't allow temporary shame to stop you from achieving them. 

© Eric Nuamah Korankye (Hamlet) (Writer/Editor)

9 New Words/Phrases #EndSARS Gave Nigerians

The protest against police brutality in Nigeria left behind some words and phrases which have become popular with most Nigerians to date. Which of these words or phrases is your favourite?
#EndSARS Protest in Nigeria
This phrase (which is usually used as a phrasal verb) simply means to continue an action.

The presence of the "verbalised" subject "we" makes it impossible to add another subject when using this phrase.

Example: We were attacked by hoodlums at Rumuokoro Junction while protesting police brutality. We move, regardless.

black magic; voodoo

Example: In Port Harcourt, EndSARS protesters who didn't have selina were asked to stay behind.

i. To speak loudly or plainly

Example: This is not time to murmur; it's time to soro soke.

ii. To express one's opinion openly and unreservedly.

Example: The protesters were never afraid to soro soke when it was something they believed in strongly.

bold; fearless; brave

Example: This is a soro soke generation, not an off-the-mic generation.

This implies that President Buhari has failed in his mandate as the leader of Nigeria.

This phrase was first used by a 21-year-old Nigerian girl during an interview with Hip TV. In her words, “Buhari has been a bad boy, and we will come for him next.”

This phrase is used when someone displays false attitude towards something in order to hide their true nature.

Example: SWAT is just a change of name; werey wan disguise.

6. FEM
This word became popular with Nigerian youth after Davido used it to title one of his singles. Most #EndSARS protesters used it instead of "shut up" to silence some politicians who addressed them for hours.

"Fem" is used as a verb to mean "shut up".

Example: Olu talks too much. I think he should fem.

 –pidgin phrase
Trouble for someone

This expression is usually used to achieve humour and to indirectly get the attention of someone. If, for instance, you come across a girl flaunting her engagement ring unnecessarily, you can get her attention by saying "Wahala for who no get fiancé.” The girl will definitely look at your direction while you and your friends laugh about it.

–pidgin phrase
To concentrate on the goal without wavering

This phrase came into existence when the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums, giving rise to other criminal activities. It served as a constant reminder to protesters as regards the goal of the protest.

If you are selina-tested, it means you have an invisible bulletproof vest on your body through voodoo practices.

Example: Selina-tested protesters led the protest in Port Harcourt.